Arlene Powers Bird Art and Discussion Site

Archive for January, 2015

Resting Week, New Elk WIP

This has been a good resting week, I have felt good, but a little more fatigued than usual. It could be due to the build up since there are only three more chemos……or it could be because the weather is rainy here, which is very unusual in Arizona. A little more hair has disappeared, but I still have enough to comb forward to have bangs with my hats. The chemo tan is getting darker, wonder how long it will last after chemo is over?

Elk - Pastel Pencils on Black

Elk – Pastel Pencils on Black

The elk is being redone on the black media board. I am liking it better so far. Didn’t get out the good camera, but will next time! SO the camera phone is Ok, but does not do justice to the colors. I didn’t get as much done this week as I would have liked….maybe it is because friends have been taking me out to eat this week, LOL. Mary, Delia and Tom, Thanks so much! It was so wonderful seeing you all and getting out of the house for a while!

The birds and cats are all napping in this wet cold rainy weather, I think I will grab a book and curl up with a nice fuzzy blanket and so the same. Feel free to join us!

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Only 3 Chemos Left! Progress on ElK

Elk Pastel Pencil

Elk Pastel Pencil

Whooo Hoooo 9 chemos down and only 3 to go!!! The nurses gave me a copy of my blood-work from Monday, and the chemo markers in the blood-work are down to 51! That is down from 75 just two weeks before.The final number should be under 10, so we are getting there!!!! I slept pretty much from Monday until Thursday this week and woke up Friday with some energy! Not as much nausea this week. Thank all of you for the prayers, positive thoughts and good wishes!

Here is the elk almost done. After the black backgrounds, it seems dull, so I am going to redo him on the black multi media board. That is the nice thing about this time of experimentation, I can try different things without the worry of how they turn out. So another silver lining with the cancer. Am still loving the pastel pencils, need to do a painting soon before I forget how to do watercolor though!

Tomorrow is the closing of the Sahuaro Ranch show, so we will go pick up the drawing that did not sell, a couple of ribbons and a check. Very exciting!

Tonight is the auction for Triple time Blues at the Houston Parrot festival Banquet. Good Luck Laney, hope the painting gets a nice contribution for the Bird Endowment!

OK, i am really getting paranoid….the parrots and the kitties have been really good this week….so I know they are plotting something. Am not sure just what though. Will be keeping a VERY close eye on them this coming week…I hear Loki whispering, see something is up. Oh Hi Loki! What? Nothing, I was just blogging…No I was not talking about you…you want a nut…..Ok. Gotta go get the bird a nut, TTYL.

About Bird Endowment – Blue Throat Macaw Project

Triple Time Blues Blue Throat Macaw Babies

Triple Time Blues
Blue Throat Macaw Babies

If you have been following my blog for a while, you have seen my painting, “Triple Time Blues”. This painting was donated to the Bird Endowment, and is going up for auction Jan 24 at the NPRPF Parrot Festival  Banquet being held in Houston. Here is a quote from my blog from 6-10-14 about the painting and my artist mission:

“Usually when you think of Blues, you think of sad times, but Thanks to a wonderful friend of mine, Laney Rickman, when I think of Blues, I think of music and parrots! She is the head of a wonderful organization, the Bird Endowment, which has the awesome Mission of “Saving The Blues”. Bird Endowment works with the Blue Throat Macaw, which is one of our most endangered macaws in the wild. To learn more about them, please check out their website: http://www.birdendowment.org – They have some great programs to help you get involved in Blue Throat Macaw conservation like the Nino Adoptivo program, you can actually sponsor a nest and help the propagation of the Blue Throat Macaw in Bolivia! SO what does this have to do with the Blues? My personal mission as an artist is to support Avian /Wildlife organizations who promote conservation, education, rehabilitation and research. SO I donate a few paintings to organizations to raffle, auction, raise money, or even just to raise awareness.”

Laney has taken time out of her VERY busy schedule to write a guest blog, so without further ado……Laney Rickman

Laney Rickman

Laney Rickman

“*Triple Time Blues* symbolizes Bird Endowment’s mission.

At The Blues Conservatory™ in Texas, our Saving the Blues™ parent-rearing program preserves and perpetuates the integrity of the Blue-throated Macaw cultural identity and provides future breeding birds with the best potential for hatching and parent-rearing their own offspring.

*The Triplets* are the culmination of a series of important milestones. Here is some historical perspective.

Great-grandparents *Ira & Eureka* were our very first pair of Blue-throated Macaws, acquired in 1992. They were also our first wild-caught pair, legally imported in 1981. They had been with several breeders but produced their first chicks with us in 1993. Founder Pair #1 raised *Xena* in 1997.

GO Blue!!!

GO Blue!!!

Grandparents *Xena & Trust* were our first F1 pair (first generation hatched in captivity) to produce and parent-rear offspring at The Blues Conservatory™. In 2002 they raised *Joplin*.

Mother *Janis Joplin* was our first F2 chick (second generation hatched in captivity) produced at The Blues Conservatory™. She and *Buster Blues* were our first pair to produce and parent-rear offspring that are third generation hatched in captivity. In 2011 they raised *The Triplets*.

*Albert Collins, Francine Reed & Junior Wells* were the first, and only, clutch of three chicks successfully parent-reared at our facility. They are still together in The Flock. They represent not only the achievement of Bird Endowment’s long-term goals, but many gratifying memories for me as well.”

Thanks Laney, the best of luck with the auction and keep up the good work with the Blue Throat Macaws!!!!

Good News in the Cancer War and Other Stuff

Oncologist appointment was Friday, where we got some great news! The tumor markers in the blood-work are down to 75 from 225 last month! Four treatments to go and we want the count under ten, so we are making great progress. The original count back in September at diagnosis was 2000. Hubby, George and I were both ecstatic to say the least. Take that cancer!!!! POW!!!

Three Wild Women

Three Wild Women

Saturday, I was feeling well enough to attend daughter Melissa’s play, “39 Steps”, at Mesa Encore Theatre.  Friends Noelle, Margaret, Leo, Paul, and Josh met us there. The play great. We were all proud of Melissa and laughed so hard our stomachs hurt. During the intermission we were invited up to try on costumes, so of course the three wild women could not resist. Here we are hamming it up on stage. Thanks to Margaret for the photo! Afterwards, we went to California Pizza Kitchen for a fun dinner. The day was so fabulous! I have not been out since August and just enjoyed the heck out of it, even though very tired today. SahuaroRanchS

As promised, here is a photo of the two drawings in the Glendale Arts Council – sans ribbons. The purchase Award and the second place are both firsts for me at this show. Very exciting! With all of the fabulous stuff happening this week, I am bursting with happiness! Take that cancer! POW POW!!!

Elk

Elk

Also as expected, here is a photo of the new pastel pencil artwork. The photo reference is from a trip we took to Estes Park. This guy is so magnificent, I have been wanting to draw him for a long time. Since I have been playing with pastel pencils, I ordered some Strathmore Charcoal paper, and it is holding the pastel. But still can’t wait to get my Ingres Pastel Paper to try.  Pastel pencils are working well at showing texture, and may become one of my favorite mediums! SO I haven’t been able to get out to the art store for my famous art supply shopping, but I have discovered online shopping! Who Knew?!?!?? I can bankrupt us from home purchasing art supplies! Do your worst at chewing up my pencils parrots, I am armed and dangerous, LOL.

Stay tuned…..a very special blog is coming with guest blogger, Laney Rickman from Bird Endowment!!!!

Rest Week, Squirrel Progress, Macaws tell Cat Tales

Almost done! Pastel Pencil on Black Multi media board

Almost done! Pastel Pencil on Black Multi media board

As the chemo progresses, the side effects build, but are still tolerable. Rest week is so important now going into the last part of the treatments. Am feeling good, but tired and if I do to much the ole body lets me know by starting the random intestinal cramping. Since it is the battle of chemo is almost done, I see the light at the end of the tunnel and am so encouraged. My good friend, Mary took me to lunch today and we did a quick run through of the City of Glendale Arts Council Show. It was very exciting to see the 2nd place ribbon there and the purchase award ribbon. The show runs through Jan 25, when the awards will be given to the artists and we pick up our work. Hopefully I won’t be as tired the next time I go and will take some pictures of the art works hanging.

Done de Done Done!

Done de Done Done!

The Squirrel is about Done DE Done Done. I am liking these pastel pencils so think I will do another project since there is one more piece of the black multi media board. “Almost Done” was another phone photo, so today I got out the good ole camera and took the squirrel outside to get some good color, and you see the result….much closer to the real color rendition.

The other day, Loki started screaming, which is usually to tell me she is out of food, someone is coming to the door, or there is an animal in the yard. I looked, the food supply was good, so checked the back yard. Lo and behold our cat, Dante, had gotten outside and was just having a good ole time out in the yard! Sure am glad Loki is a tattle tale, otherwise Dante might be lost somewhere as he is not an outdoor kitty. So macaw screaming can be a good thing, LOL, even if it does some ear drum damage. Oops, she is screaming…..better go check the food supply.

Awake after chemo week, New WIP – Squirrel, and Whooooo Hooooooo!

Squirrel1

Squirrel – Pastel on Black multimedia paper

After this week’s chemo treatment, I slept until Friday, was up a couple of hours, back to sleep and I am actually awake today. The nice part about sleeping the week away is that I miss out on all of the nausea. SO ONLY four treatments to go!!! We are 2/3s of the way through. We meet with the oncologist next week, so hopefully will find more improvement!  Last week’s learning: I learned NOT to drink a large fresh veggie juice. Must start with smaller quantities. It really played havoc with the digestion system. All recovered, hubby survived all of the gas and complaining, and everything is back to the “new” normal.

SO thought I would try a pastel on the multimedia paper, since it is so rough. It seems to take many layers, and so far so good. See what you think. This is from a photo of a squirrel we saw on one of our Flagstaff trips. Am still to tired to bring out the camera and tripod, so this is a shot from my cell phone. Don’t forget to click on it for a larger view.

Ok, for my BIG news! Two of my artworks, ‘Raven’, and ‘Pottery Hands’ were juried into the yearly Glendale Council of Arts Show at Sahuaro Ranch. “Pottery Hands” won second place in drawing, and “Raven” sold. And you watched them right here as they developed. This is very exciting for me, as I have only won “Honorable Mention” in that show, and have never sold anything in it, so these are both firsts for me. And in a year where my focus is on getting well and doing art as therapy, it was very unexpected. So I am delighted, but the parrots are all saying, “Why didn’t you enter a parrot? How did silly human hands get a prize? Who would want to buy a RAVEN?” and the cats are saying “Why didn’t you enter a cat?…..”

Prayer Quilt, Chemo, Charlie Almost Done

Prayer Quilt

Prayer Quilt

This photo was posted on Facebook, but for those of you who don’t FB here is the photo of the Prayer Quilt. It was done by the wonderful Prayers and Squares Quilt Ministry at the Houston Salvation Army. Each knot represents a prayer said for me. It brought tears to my eyes and joy to my heart. Thanks to all of you for the prayers and what a beautiful reminder of prayers said!

Charlie - Hahn's Macaw WIP 2

Charlie – Hahn’s Macaw
WIP 2

SO this week brings a new result of side effects. I don’t know if I have mentioned it before, but mouth sores are one of the side effects of the chemo. Well, I sidestepped the mouth sores, but have nose sores. The nurses said to use vaseline to keep them soft and not bleeding. So I have used vaseline and Saline Nasal Gel, which work; however, in the last couple of weeks, I have lost a lot of the sensation in my nose……..resulting in random “nose drip”. LOL, who ever thought I would be a snotty nosed ole lady?!?? Now in addition to checking me for charcoal, paint, and/or bird poop, before I leave the house, my family has to tell me to wipe my nose. This has been a good resting week, the nausea has not been as bad, and shock, I gained a couple of pounds this week. Guess, I will have to cut back on the hot fudge sundaes!

Charlie - Almost Done!

Charlie – Almost Done!

Here are a couple of photos on the progress on Charlie. The one in the middle was taken indoors in warm lighting, and the other one was taken outside in the shade and is closer to the real color of the drawing. Well, better go take a nap and get ready for chemo next week……where are my therapy kitties?!?!!?

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